Dr. Barbara Hays is a board-certified Ob/Gyn in Sacramento, Calif. In our "Ask an Ob/Gyn" series, Dr. Hays answers questions readers have posted on the Healthgrades Facebook page. Q: “My partner has a much lower sex drive than I do. I feel I could be more supportive if I understood it better. What could be causing her low libido?” A: A difference in the level of libido is not uncommon in relationships, but it can be frustrating for both partners. If your partner is concerned about her sex drive, I would encourage her to see a doctor to rule out any potential physical causes. If she is not concerned about her level of sexual desire, it's more likely to involve aspects of the relationship rather than represent a medical problem. There are medical conditions (such as vaginal infections, vaginismus, vestibulodynia, menopause changes in the vaginal tissues, or pelvic floor muscle dysfunction) that make sex uncomfortable or painful; these issues can contribute to a low desire to have sex. Several medical conditions may also dampen desire, from anxiety to arthritis. Certain medications are known to have increased risk of lowering libido. Many patients taking antidepressants experience a reduced libido, and for others hormonal birth control decreases their desire. The hormone changes of pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause are well known for causing changes in sex drive. Menopause, whether related to age or surgery, can cause uncomfortable vaginal dryness and even some vaginal shrinkage that makes sex less enjoyable and sometimes painful. Some causes are also related to psychological and social factors. For example, some women who have had a mastectomy have difficulty feeling sexual; the loss of a breast can feel like losing a part of herself that makes her feel feminine and desirable. Other women feel less sexual if they gain weight or feel unattractive for any reason. Women who have suffered abuse of any type may have a lowered libido, as well as other psychological issues. If your partner is overworked, stressed, or not getting enough sleep, she may feel less interested in having sex. Many couples find their sex life affected after having children, sometimes because of the new responsibilities, sometimes due to logistical challenges, often because of fatigue and lack of sleep, and sometimes because of the physical changes a woman may experience after recovering from childbirth. It’s important to recognize that low libido in women is often related to their emotional well-being and self-esteem. Security, trust, and a feeling of intimacy with a partner are an important part of a woman’s desire for physical intimacy. Low libido in women is often a combination of physical and psychological factors. Any woman who feels she has an unusually low libido and is concerned should see her Ob/Gyn and discuss her options. A variety of treatments are available to help women who feel they have a problem and want to improve their libido. Every woman should be able to enjoy a healthy and rewarding sex life. Have a question for Dr. Hays? Like Healthgrades on Facebook and tell us what topics you’d like to hear more about in future installments.